About the BookThis 5-volume, encyclopaedic study of India’s North-East is the result of the Author’s 11 years of service extended over three tenures in the region, followed by 6 years of library research after his retirement. Being the first of its kind, given its contents and sheer size, over 2,500 pages, it is a unique book.
Writing on the North-East is not an easy exercise, given its diversity (ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic), size, history and geography. If India is microcosmic world, the North-East is microcosmic India. Of the 5,653 communities in India, 653 are tribal of which the 213 are indigenous to the North-East. Of the 213, 111 are found in Arunachal Pradesh alone. Illumined by an equally amazing linguistic diversity, it is home to 325 of the 1,652 languages spoken in India. Yet again, North-East’s total population of 3,84,95,089 (2001) constitutes 2.69 per cent of India’s 1,02,70,15,247, while its area of 2,55,088 sq km is 7.75 per cent of India’s 32,87,263 sq km.About the Author/sCol Ved Prakash was commissioned into the famed SIKH Regiment of the Infantry, the foremost fighting arm of the Indian Army in 1957. His first posting was to 3 SIKH, then operating in the Naga Hills when the Naga insurgency was on the upswing. Subsequently, in his career, he served twice in the North-East, once as a Commanding Officer of an Assam Rifles battalion (1970s) operating against the Mizo insurgents then ravaging the eponymous Hills, and then as Commander of a Movement Control Group Headquarters (1980s).
During 11 years in the North-East spread over three tenures, he got a chance for personal interaction with various tribal groups and to observe their social mores, to study the history and geography of the region, and got acquainted with its myriad problems. During a 2-month sabbatical, he visited all the World War II hot spots and places of historical and tourist interest of the North-East India. This is the way this major book was born.
Col Ved Prakash also served in Jammu and Kashmir, including two tenures in the frosty areas of Ladakh. He took part in the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars, and retired in 1989. Besides his distinguished military career, he has to his credit three books, namely Intelligent Ways to Enter the NDA (1995), The Samba Spy Scandal (1998), and Indian Army in Sri Lanka (2001). His books have been well received by the readers.